ESSENCE Honors Today's Beauty Innovators

Along with spotlighting our favorite hair and beauty products of the year, ESSENCE wanted to honor those trailblazers who are making their mark in the industry.

Charlene Cooper Apr, 03, 2013

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Miss Jessie's Titi and Miko branch opened their first salon in 1997 and developed their popular product line seven years later. From the luxurious curly puddings, buttercremes and meringues sold at target stores nationwide to their CurlBar salon in the trendy SoHo section of New York City, Miss Jessie's wants us to embrace our kinks, curls and waves, and we love them for it.

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Sam Fine is the makeup artist responsible for the flawless looks of celebrities such as Vanessa Williams and Iman. now the creative makeup director at Fashion Fair is offering a new line of makeup that promises to give us all a taste of Hollywood glam. not sure how it's done? Catch Fine on tour teaching real women the Fine art of looking great.

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VP of product development at Englewood Lab, is at the forefront of personal care innovation. She holds a microdermabrasion patent and has formulated more than 2,000 skin care products. Her ability to explain the science of beauty has made her an editor’s go-to source for clear and useful information. She even pens a column for dr. Oz’s web site. Wilson, one of the few people of color working in beauty labs today, is devoted to bringing us products and science that work.

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Afrobella, aka Patrice Grell Yursik, has one of the most popular beauty blogs (also called Afrobella) and to date more than 40,600 twitter followers. Now big businesses have taken notice. We’re talking Microsoft, Mac and Carol’s daughter, all of whom have called on the trinidadian to sprinkle a little of her beauty magic their way. And it’s paying off. The All of My Purple Life lipglass Yursik created for Mac sold out in mere weeks!

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Ursula Stephen's unparalleled talent helped turn Rihanna into a style icon. Motions hair care line appointed her into celebrity stylist and global ambassador to South Africa. Stephen injects everything she does with her signature cool, creating looks copied around the world. We can't wait to see what she turns out next.